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SUNY Erie, County Officials Dedicate Building to STEM Workers

Article by: Paula Sandy

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz joined SUNY Erie Community College Interim President William Reuter on Friday, September 25 for a formal dedication of SUNY Erie’s Center for STEM Studies recognizing STEM workers and students in the region for their commitment to community safety and advancement. Also in attendance at this event were Erie County Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin, Erie County Legislator Jeanne Vinal, Town of Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa. SUNY Erie Immediate Past Chair Len Lenihan, Board Vice Chairman Jeff Stone, and Trustee Carrie Phillips and SUNY Erie Foundation Board Member Paul Lamanna.

The state-, county- and SUNY Erie-funded project, located on the North Campus and officially opened to start the Spring 2018 semester, provides approximately 57,000 square feet of facility space for labs, prep rooms and support spaces for the College’s Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Engineering Science programs, as well as shared instructional spaces, collaborative study spaces, a tutoring center and faculty offices.

Interim President Reuter said the idea to dedicate the building to STEM workers seemed a natural fit for the community. “We have experienced an unprecedented time in the throes of global pandemic, resulting in expressions of gratitude to workers on the front-line of keeping our communities safe,” he said. “This facility is intended to train current and future generations of STEM workers to make a significant contribution to our society, during times of calm and crisis.”

County support was paramount to the successful completion of this project, allowing recent alumni to enter the workforce to assist the community’s fight and recovery over the past few months.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “STEM workers are at the forefront of keeping our communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and they do tremendous work every day. Today we dedicate this STEM building to them as a symbol of our appreciation for the work they do and to underscore our commitment to providing a high-quality STEM education to the workforce of tomorrow.” 

The first new building constructed on the North Campus in recent history, the Center for STEM Studies achieved LEED Gold Certification in 2019. An important goal of the project was to transform the campus and foster a sense of energy and activity. The campus largely untouched since inception was recently identified as eligible for National Register historic status. As a result, the design of the STEM Building was developed to be sensitive to the scale and materials of the existing campus buildings, and respectful of the original campus plan.

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